Talking tech since 2003

A post on the Verge today reports that the talks between tech giants Apple and Samsung to try and resolve their patent disputes out of the courtroom have failed. Citing a few different news sources out of Korea, it seems that Samsung’s co-CEO JK Shin was supposed to fly to the United States before the February 19 deadline for mediation. But Korean site Chosun says that Shin is “presently in Korea and has no plans to leave the country before that date.”

The conclusion, then, is that conversations between Shin and Apple CEO Tim Cook from last week have already gone as far as they can. The two companies are scheduled to meet again in court this coming March.

We first heard rumblings that Apple and Samsung would try to mend fences in late December. Since that time, there have been all manner of cross-licensing agreements taking hold in the tech sector, with Google making agreements with Samsung and Cisco, while Twitter and IBM reached a deal specifically to avoid litigation. So if all these companies can find ways to play nice, what keeps Apple and Samsung from doing the same?

It could be that Apple has too much to gain from litigation to bother with any kind of licensing. Just last month, a judge ruled that Samsung is infringing on Apple’s autocomplete keyboard patent. It’s probable that this won’t be the last such judgment going Apple’s way.

But let’s also not forget that Apple has been the target of patent infringement suits as well. In the last year, it’s been hit with lawsuits from two different universities over tech used in its devices—one from Boston University from last summer, and another from the University of Wisconsin from just last week. Apple settled with BU not too long ago, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it went the same route with University of Wisconsin.

Will Apple ever settle with Samsung? Would a settlement with Apple carve too much out of Samsung’s bottom line? The settlement proposal from Apple must have been pretty tough to swallow if Samsung would rather continue to fight what’s clearly become a losing battle in court. Perhaps we’ll learn more when the two find themselves back in front of a judge next month.


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